Cedar Lake - TRAIL

Cedar Lake - Trail, Carbondale, Illinois

There is a network of trails out at Cedar. The main trail when from one side of the park to the other and is about 8 miles. This is one of the best trails in Southern Ill. It is very technical in the way of rock and roots. It has moderatily sized climbed. It also has some section of trails with jumped in it and multiple creek crossing. The only downside of the trail is it gets pretty over grown during the summer. Other than that it's a blast.

User Reviews (24)

Showing 1-10 of 24  
artistdrs   Cross Country Rider [Apr 12, 2012]

i finally completed this whole trail and it was probably the best workout of my entire life. Its an awesome trail with some pretty tricky downhill sections and some near impossible uphill sections. you will have to get off and push your bike because many of the hills are just too complicated to enjoy riding but its an out and back trail so you get to enjoy them on the way back. there are some pretty fast sections with small jumps and some of the hills are pretty difficult to ride down due to a bunch of rocks roots holes and washouts and sharp turns you have to choose your path wisely. the rocks are very hard on tires its best to have dual suspension. this trail is relatively well taken care of but very difficult in some areas especially if u try to ride up all the hills. awesome ride tho

Customer Service

I dont really know a good route to take just bring a gps and type in rowen cemetary in makanda illinois i dont give good directions cuz i dont know the names of any of the roads

Similar Products Used: I heard lake kinkaid was fun i havent rode there yet but i want to
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
lift2win   Weekend Warrior [Sep 22, 2010]

this is the best trail i have yet to ride in illinois!. lots of challenging parts, lots of high speed, lots of climbs and more trail then u will ever need. i ride this trail about 3 times a week and is still the best one that i can find in southern illinois!!

Customer Service

start at the rowan cemetary trail head and just follow the trail

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
poontank   Cross Country Rider [Jul 09, 2009]

You'll never find the trail head if you follow the written directions on MTBR.com. Instead, you need to go North on old US Hwy 51 in Makanda as shown on the map not Cobden as in the written instructions. If you find yourself in Cobden, you are too far south. Turn around and go back north on US 51. After turning onto West on to North Old US Hwy 51 you will find McGuire Rd. not McGuywer Rd as stated in the above written instructions. Turn left (east) on McGuire Rd then another left (south) on Rowan Rd. The trail head is about 1/2 down Rowan Rd on the right side (west side) of the road.


This trail is in need of some IMBA trail care crew love. On both the downhill and uphill sections erosion is taking a big toll on these trails. They need to be redesigned to be sustainable. That being said the trail is actually a blast to ride. There are rocky challenging climbs and fast downhill sections. A few stream crossings keep things interesting while a flat sections here and there allow you to catch your breathe. If you are ever in southern Illinois it is worth checking out.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
unezridr   Cross Country Rider [May 22, 2007]

From my most recent experience, this should be described as a horse trail that allows mountain bikers. The steep technical climbs were seriously torn up by horse hooves. There were trail "pies" every 1/2 mile or so. Worst was being behind a large group of 10 or so horse riders with no room on single track for them to allow me by without spooking the animals. When they pulled off at the spillway I tried many "thank you's" and smiles but all I received in return were hateful grimaces. (I'm sure they think that MTBers are messing up their trail).

Other than that, it was a nice ride, although in need of some maintenance/repair. Plenty of fun to be had once the view (and smell) improved from horses' a$$ to cedar trees.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
eherbst   Cross Country Rider [Aug 06, 2005]

I went down there with my wife earlier this week, and we rode only the section between Boat Dock Road and the slickrock spillway. I found it to be a blast; loved the ups & downs, rocky sections, creek crossings, etc. My wife got a little frustrated on the way out (we started at Boat Dock Road, and from there it's quite a bit more uphill than down until you get to the doubletrack). But on the way back she enjoyed it quite a bit more. The forest is beautiful, as is the lake. I would love to get back down there and explore the rest of the trail sometime soon.

Customer Service

see Shawnee Mountain Bike Association's website, www.smbatrails.com, for directions and recommended routes.

Similar Products Used: Kinkaid Lake
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
poontank   Weekend Warrior [Jun 23, 2004]

This trail is awesome. If only someone would come and do a just a bit of maintainence on it. Plenty of small climbs and some pretty fun downhills with a few technical sections. There are several creek crossing with are very cool. Atleast on of which you will be carrying your bike accross. The jumps at the beginning of the trail are a blast, so be ready for them and catch some air. Overal a very fun train in need of a little care.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
pbasso1   Racer [Aug 22, 2003]

I read about the Cedar Lake trail on this website when I was traveling through Carbondale on business. This trail is very nice with a mulititude of different styles of rides. Going in from the 127 side on Cave Hollow trail was awesome. The scenery is beautful. The start of the trail is very technical with lots of roots and rocks and short climbs...it is great through. Then you come out on a fire road, hang a left, run the fire road fast for lots of air then cross the levy to the other trail, Cave Loop trail. Run this through a long pine forest with dense trees overhead, another beautiful sight. Then you dump into the weeds which were a bit overgrown at the time so I turned around and road it back. Great riding conditions and lots of different types of trail. I reccomend it to anyone who is better than novice.

Customer Service

Take 127 down till you see the Cedar Lake signs. Take a left at the 127 Jackson Mile 2 marker. The road eventually turns to gravel and the trail entrance is on the right side. Go past the trail entrance for an eighth of a mile to park by the lake for safer conditions.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeff Jones   [Nov 05, 1998]

Faster and better maintained than most Shawnee Forest trails. Fun and fast with some challenging technical stuff and short steep hills. Crossing the headwaters of the upper lake is sometimes messy after a rain. This crossing is definately not ridable but only about 100 feet long. You're more likely to see other riders on this trail than any other in the Shawnee.

Customer Service

Start at the trailhead near the Pomona boat ramp. When you reach the dividing dam between the upper and lower lake, bare to your right to take in the more techical upper lake loop, travelling counter clockwise around the lake.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Alan Brown   [Nov 26, 1998]

One of the best trails I have ridden mostly because of it's variety of riding...everthing from techical, rocky singletrack to wide open forest roads with huge jumps. Plenty of creek crossins, can be deep if lake is up. This trail was recently rated as the "best in Illinois" by Outside magazine.

Customer Service

Turn off Hyw 127 at west side of lake, follow signs to boat ramp. Ride back gravel road to trail head on south side of road. Except for the Little Cedar Lake loop decribed in review above there is only one trail, 7.5 miles one way.

Similar Products Used: Most of the River-to-River is open to mountain biking except where it passes through "sensitive areas". Much of the Cedar Lake Trail is on the R/R Trail.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
OVERBARS(Stacy)   [Dec 03, 1998]

I haven't had a chance to ride everything I've heard is in this area yet. But this place is a lot o fun . The jumps are sweet on the East side of the lake. Some climbing and lots of technical places too. I've also rode a great gravity trail in this same area of Carbondale but I don't have very good dirctions yet. When I get better directions I'll do a write up on this as well. But go ask the guys at Phoenix Cycle in Carbondale about the trails that go down the power line area. Full suspension is a plus if you ride these, and if you can climb everything here..... well..... YOU DA MAN!!! AND I WANT TO SEE IT!!!!!

Customer Service

You can use any of the routes others have mentioned before. The really fun stuff is near and around the lake the section thaat you cross the lake is cool. It is similar to the "Slick rock" section at Conyers Georgia.(Olympic Course). Don't get me started about how hot the World Cup Rrace was there this year!

Similar Products Used: Ask the bike shops in the town ( Pheonix Cycle led me right) they know of the goods. Happy trails:-)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 24  

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